The gender pay gap is not an abstract idea. It is, in fact, a real problem. However, it’s hard to know exactly how the wage gap has played out for each of us as individuals, which makes the reality (and the gravity) of the situation harder to fully grasp.
(Photo Credit: 401(K) 2013/Flickr)
Now though, thanks to a plethora of data analysis, we’re learning more and more about how the gender pay gap impacts individuals in every profession and at different ages and stages of their careers.
Amelia Showalter, a data analytics expert and political consultant who worked as director of digital analytics for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, and Chris Wilson, director of data journalism at Time, utilized Census data about the wages of 15 million Americans to learn more about the wage gap. The end result were some really interesting findings, and a pretty spiffy tool that anyone can use to make the gender pay gap feel a little more personal.
The 3-Question Calculator
This pay gap calculator will tell you how the wage gap has likely influenced your personal finances. After answering just three questions, and pressing the button labeled “view your pay gap” you’ll be shown, in cold hard specifics, the difference your gender has made in your earnings. (It turns out that as a freelance writer, I would be earning 51 percent more this year if I were a man. Also, the figure it gave for my actual earnings was pretty spot on.) This is a great tool to help us all personalize, and better internalize, the experience of the gender pay gap.
Here are a few interesting findings from the analysis.
- 1,490 combinations of age and occupation revealed a statistically significant differences in earnings by gender. Only 22 of the 1,490 were instances where women earned more than men. Every single one of those 22 cases occurred among the youngest members of an occupation.
- There was not one occupation where women over the age of 30 earned significantly higher wages than their male co-workers.
- Industries that are traditionally female dominated, like teaching and social work, see less of a pay gap during the early stages of the career than traditionally male dominated industries experience. But, that gap widens over time.
- Some age/occupation combinations showed particularly shocking results. For example, female tax preparers in their 40s made about a third of what men their age earned.
Be sure to check out the pay gap calculator and the accompanying article that details these findings for more information.
Tell Us What You Think
How has the gender pay gap impacted your earnings? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.